How The Netflix Original "Sex Education" Gives Our Generation What It Needs

On January 17th, Netflix gifted millions of viewers with the second season of Sex Education. If you have not heard of it before, you are about to hear a lot about it now because this show has truly given voice to a lot of unheard problems and underappreciated people. Not only that, but it has shed light on real struggles that everyone faces, no matter their gender or race. And it does not sugar coat them. It shows them in all their ugly, difficult and confusing parts, something that makes them all the more realistic, emotional and hilarious. You will laugh, cry and fall in love all in one episode. Here, I will explain just a few of the ways that Sex Education Seasons 1 and 2, has given our generation what it needs:

Sex Education is a show about a socially awkward teenager who is wrapped into giving sex and relationship advice to his schoolmates using the knowledge he has gained from his mother, a sex therapist. Due to this, the show tackles a lot of situations and problems that arise surrounding sex, specifically sex among young adults. The show does not fall into the typical teen sex tropes seen on television. It does not glorify it, nor does it disapprove of it. Rather, it addresses the reality of it. It talks about the uncomfortableness of sex for straight, gay and lesbian couples. It even addresses the reality of sexually transmitted diseases. Though many of these subjects may sound odd or serious, they are addressed with both humor and sensitivity, which makes the information digestible, relatable and very funny. 

The show also does an amazing job at introducing characters from a variety of backgrounds. Not a single character looks, is or acts the same. The main character’s best and, in the beginning, only friend is an openly gay student with religious roots. He even engages in a very real conversation about religion with one of his partners who has very different religious views. Not to mention, the number of mixed culture and race relationships is so great.

All the characters have their flaws. There is not a single character who has everything figured out, nor is there a moment where you agree with everything they do. However, no matter what they do, I find that I never abandon my love for any of the characters. Rather, I relate to them and I sympathize with them. Many of us have been where these characters are or have observed these same problems among other young adults that surround us. It is both a comfort and a good laugh to see it all play out on screen.

In Season 2, specifically, the show addresses very real issues with sexual assault. This was especially impressive to me because for too long I could not define everything that constitutes sexual assault. Typically, on screen, all you see is rape and physical abuse being associated with sexual assault or abuse. However, sexual assault is so much more and so many women suffer from it without having been raped. Due to media misconception, many young women may not know they were even assaulted even though they may suffer psychological pain because of it. In the show, one of the female characters is sexually assaulted. The act appears discreet and she seems more worried about her jeans than the assault, which she doesn’t even see as sexual assault. However, she soon feels the impact of what happened to her. I won’t reveal much else about this plot line, but I will say that even though the ending to that plot line was not conclusive, the inconclusiveness of it only made it more real. Furthermore, the comfort I received from how they addressed it was overwhelming. To say I didn’t cry over hearing the stories shared on the show would be a lie. To say I haven’t heard the same stories from women in my life would also be a lie.

Sex Education is a phenomenal show. The visuals, the characters, the plots, the relationship dynamics and the dialogue are amazing. However, it is the heart and messages behind the show that make me tear up while also laughing. It is a truly timeless piece that will never stop giving young people exactly what they need.